I believe the first and most significant factor has to be a calling towards a true ‘people helping’ profession, not just thoughts of earning income, or changing from an occupation that has become dissatisfying.
This element is a psychic pre-disposition and a psychic need to help others, which is the highest spiritual need in mankind. Jesus said, “Love ye one another”, “Do unto others as you would have done unto you”. True adherence to these commandments would prevent almost all forms of life negation (expressions of ‘evil’.) I believe we are here to affirm life and to express our creative spirit, which is our divine nature.
The most important by-product of this work is that the Hypnotherapist has a special opportunity for Personal Transformation. Each of us is conditioned from early years to a cynical disbelief in our ability to be personally transformed. We say things such as, “Well that’s the way I am – it just can’t be helped” or, “I had a terrible childhood”, etc.
The daily experience of witnessing dramatic transforming changes in clients brings the therapist to the realisation that others can change and the therapist is part of the process and, eventually, the inner conviction develops that transformation is possible for them as well. This is the biggest reward that comes from becoming a Hypnotherapist. It is one of a very few occupations that allows one to witness and to participate in the Miracle of Personal Transformation.
The search for comprehensive training should be an exhaustive one since inadequate training is the major cause of failure in hypnotherapy.
The second element is training. Now that hypnotherapy has achieved a much broader public and acceptance as a powerful, life-changing process, many “schools” have sprung up and most of them give brief and superficial training, or very academic training based on outmoded psychoanalytic theories. However, in the USA and in the UK, there are schools that give several hundred hours training in hypnotherapy appropriate areas.
The search for comprehensive training should be an exhaustive one since inadequate training is the major cause of failure in hypnotherapy. Without proper professional training the graduate student will quickly discover not only a lack of adequate income but also the lack of spiritual nourishment, a feeling of incompetence and inadequacy in dealing with the problems and conflicts presented by clients. A reliance on simplistic methods such as creating the “right script” for the particular problem or ailment will most often produce minimal or transient results.
The conscious mind reasons primarily in the inductive mode, which means from cause to effect. In so doing, it calls upon accumulated knowledge, personal experiences and rational thinking. The subconscious mind reasons deductively, which is from effect back to cause. For example, numerous female clients make the statement, “I’m never going to fall in love again because I always end up getting hurt”.
Once the underlying cause of the attraction to a specific type of exploitive male is revealed, this fictitious belief is easily overcome. In addition to deductive reasoning, the subconscious mind uses intuition which arises as a message from what I call an ‘Inner Creative Source’.
Intuition combines with previous learnings, native intelligence and personal experience to form a whole that defies rational processes. Often, in the middle of a therapy session, ideas and concepts flash into awareness and the answer is suddenly available.
Often when working with a client, I close my eyes to enter into my subconscious, which allows intuition to come forward. I prefer to call it “Spiritual Inspiration”.
As the therapy session proceeds there are salient words, phrases, statements and detailed experiences that l identify as highly significant. I store these as if in a highly visible filing system and finally, they come together to provide cogent and meaningful solutions. I avoid the temptation to form a conclusion from any single statement.
One of the most important traits of a highly effective therapist is to be non-judgemental. We must listen to the clients reporting of issues and personal history as information to assist in problem solving and prevent our personal beliefs and prejudices from shaping our perception of them.
After accumulating a number of significant clues, the subconscious will deliver what to do next. After developing trance in the client, begin using uncovering processes and re-education that are useful and appropriate.
The third attribute is one of the most significant ones. It is the ability to develop and use entrepreneurial skills. It is difficult to incorporate this into the training, although most of the trainers have developed it consciously or unconsciously or they wouldn’t be trainers.
I have often found that the very people that are attracted to hypnotherapy have the least developed entrepreneurial skills.
I have often found that the very people that are attracted to hypnotherapy have the least developed entrepreneurial skills. They are drawn to the spirit of the profession, but are repelled or lack knowledge of the methods and personal effort required for the commercial marketing of their services.
When beginning a career in hypnotherapy, there are only two ways to inform your potential client of your services. The first is the use of your capital or money in media advertising, which is often the least productive method. The alternate method is the use of your time and energy for promoting public awareness of yourself and your services.
This requires ability, or a willingness to develop the ability to volunteer as a speaker to civic groups, service clubs and other forms of group meetings and social gatherings. In addition, the frequent solicitation of all forms of the media – local, regional, national, newspapers; radio and TV interviews by means of letters, press releases and the creation of attractive sales brochures.
Self-employed, self-directed service occupations require continuous self-promotion which can be divided between passive forms, such as brochures and adverts; and active forms such as lectures, meetings and talks. Free inductory lessons are a highly effective way to generate new business.
In the early part of my career, I would personally visit the local radio and TV stations, ask to see the Program Director and display my brochures and promotional material and say “I am available for interviews.”
In major media markets such as Los Angeles, New York, London and other major cities, there are so many radio and television stations that Program Directors are always looking for program content that will keep listeners tuned to their station. The creative and therapeutic uses of hypnotherapy provide interesting topics for interviews. Television producers often require some form of visual demonstration, either live or filmed.
For example, when a stage hypnotist does a television show, the production company distributes hundreds of free tickets to create a studio audience. On the day of the filming, members of the studio audience are asked to volunteer. Usually a large number will come forward (they are anxious for their moment of fame) – the hypnotist gives them a series of suggestibility tests and selects the most responsive. This group is taken backstage for further testing and only the most highly responsive are chosen to appear in the show.
As I continued to observe the paradox of clients behaviours that were self-defeating and illogical and as I witnessed the process of transformation, I came to understood my role as an instrument in the process.
The fourth criteria is the therapist’s desire and ability to transform themselves. I am not implying that a therapist needs to be in therapy in order to do therapy. Through participation in the resolution of the clients issues, an new understanding of their own conflicts and an awareness of how to resolve them can occur. I call this accelerating the spiritual journey.
Many years ago I began to videotape live therapy sessions. As I used the therapy tapes in my teaching I came to admire the therapist on the screen and for a long time, I felt a separation between the person doing the therapy and the person watching – I came to strongly desire to be in my ‘off camera life’ the same person that I was while doing therapy. I had a feeling, “I wish I could be like that all the time” (as I was on the screen) and slowly it came to me: “I am that person. That’s not a different person or even a person behaving differently. It’s the way I choose to behave in a given situation. I can behave that way in any situation”. Originally, the incentive was to create the right impression to students watching the videotaped therapies. But, the realisation grew that I was still drawing on something within me to create that impression. That was the aspect of self that I admired and integrated into my behaviour.
As I continued to observe the paradox of clients behaviours that were self-defeating and illogical and as I witnessed the process of transformation, I came to understood my role as an instrument in the process. I realised it was not a case of my greater self and my lesser self. It was the aspects of self that I had chosen to display consciously and subconsciously in specific areas of my life. The choice was always mine. When this realisation came to me, I began to make better choices.
I aspired to the qualities of honesty, directness, potency, being non-judgmental, caring, the ability to confront in creative ways, the ability to bond with the client through developing rapport and by self-revelation. The months and years of viewing the films and seeing the success of my clients was the effective catalyst in my personal transformation. As I began to see clearly, I put aside childish things (words, feelings and behaviours).
I now believe that mankind is the creation of a divine source and is the expression of the highest form of life on this planet. All other animals are limited to procreation and instinctual response while the human animal not only procreates but also has faculties to modify and retrain instinct and overcome the negative effects of familial conditioning, environmental shaping and even genetic influences.
We are given many “divine faculties” and the primary evidence of our “Divine Nature” is our ability to Create. This explains how Man is made in the ‘Image of God’, because he has been given the “Divine Gift of Creativity”.